Dua Lipa discusses 'terrifying' album leak in fierce Rolling Stone cover shoot

Dua Lipa, in a time that has been pretty rough for the music industry, managed to boss 2020, with her second studio album Future Nostalgia hitting number one in the charts.

The record includes her hit singles Don’t Start Now, Levitating and Break My Heart and came out early in March last year – when the coronavirus pandemic first hit – after being leaked online.

Opening up in the new issue of Rolling Stone, where she fiercely fronts the cover, Dua admits she was ‘terrified’ of her music being out there – especially as other artists were pushing back release dates, as the music industry grinding to a halt.

It meant that Dua couldn’t tour with the album and she tells the publication: ‘I was terrified.’

However, its release arguably wasn’t as unideal as she first thought, with Dua adding: ‘But, at the same time, I was like, for some people this is a form of escapism?’

She was right, as fans went wild for it, with Future Nostalgia landing the number one spot in the UK album charts, Dua becoming the most listened-to female artist on Spotify the week her record was released and receiving a nod for Best Album of the Year at the 2021 Grammys.

It’s an album that channels female empowerment – a running theme of Dua’s music – and she admits that she was worried that people wouldn’t like that it’s simply a ‘fun’ record. No sad songs, just feel good tunes.

‘When I was creating the first album, a lot of what was going on in my life was about heartbreak,’ she says in her cover shoot. ‘This time around, I was feeling so happy and things were going so well, I was like, “Ok, I need to be able to portray this feeling in a way that doesn’t feel cheesy to me.’

She jokes: ‘I don’t know why I thought that when you’re a pop artist and you make a happy son, then all of a sudden, it’s just not cool. I kind of just had to let that go.’

While she confesses there was a point she thought she should probably throw a ballad in there, Dua decided against it, as she reveals: ‘That wasn’t what I was feeling, I was like, “f**k it, it’s a fun record,” that’s what it was.’

And it’s fun that she embodies in her appearance in Rolling Stone’s February issue, with Dua – who is dating model Anwar Hadid – stunning the pages in a series of bold and colourful outfits and strong looks.

One shot sees her getting all flexible and literally bending over backwards in a mesh bodysuit and her dark locks running wild. Stunner.

As well as dropping her second album, last year also saw Dua get involved in some fire collaborations with the likes of Madonna and also Miley Cyrus, who she teamed up with on track Prisoner.

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